Pursue Peace (40 REAL Days)

DAY 2

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Wow! What a couple of days it has been!

I knew going into 40 days of daily blogging would probably be met with a few obstacles along the way. I just didn’t think it would start happening straight out of the gate!

Yesterday, my internet was down for most of the day. Except for power outages, it’s never down. But it just happened to be down…yesterday. Thankfully, it did return by the afternoon and I was able to get the first post out.

Speaking of power outages…

This morning, I woke up to my 4am alarm. Stumbling into the bathroom, I quickly realized that we had lost power. Normally, I would return to bed, but upon waking I realized that I was coming out of a very vivid dream – one that needed to be written down before I forgot what it was about. (I always write down my vivid dreams.)

So, I grabbed my phone (for light) and made my way downstairs. On the way down I realized that I had a raging sinus headache and as I was making that realization, it also dawned on me that I was not going to be able to make coffee.

No coffee? Especially when I have a headache?! Lord, You know that I’m supposed to blog today, right?

Pursue peace.”

Pursue peace? I suddenly remembered that in the few seconds between coming out of my dream, and fully waking, I had lifted up the day, and this post, to God and I had heard, “pursue peace.”

Ok. I can just take some ibuprofen and that should do the trick…even without my precious coffee.

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As I was finishing up jotting down my dream, I suddenly heard one of the cats retching.

NOOOOOO!!! I jumped up to grab him and I startled him. He ran into another room as I pursued him.

Pursue peace.”

But he’s going to puke on the carpet!! Ok. I’ll calm down.

I reached him in time to gently scoop him up and take him outside. I double-checked to make sure that the floors were clean (all of this, of course, is happening in the dark).

All clear. Thank You, God!

I had planned to do some studying after writing down my dream but figured, at this point, that would be a lost cause. So, I began running through all the things that needed to get done – and all the things I would not be able to do because of the outage. We are on a well so, power outage = no running water.

Ugh! I need to get kids off to school and husband off to work!

Pursue peace.”

Ok. We’ve done this before! We can certainly do it, now! I’m so thankful that we have a store of water jugs for washing and flushing. Thank You, Lord, for helping us to prepare for times like these!

With a bit more effort than usual, everyone set off on their day as close to normal as possible. After getting my daughter onto her bus, I decided to sit in my vehicle for a few more minutes (because it was warm and I could charge my phone). I was suddenly overcome with emotion.

As I sat, running through the morning’s events – and praying – I began to cry. Not because my morning was trying and slightly chaotic. But because through it all, the Lord was near…reminding me to pursue peace. Not by quiet, “meditative serenity,” but by keeping my focus on Him, even in the chaos.

And by being thankful.

To be honest, I am probably one of the most selfish people I know. Both my heart and spirit long to love, and to serve, others but my flesh still has some dying to do. It wasn’t that long ago that just realizing that the power was out would have set me off into an angry tailspin that would have ruined my day – and probably everyone else’s. Yeah, I’ve been THAT anxious, selfish and self-centered.

But today was different. I found myself giggling throughout the morning…at the silly absurdness of it all. And I had so many opportunities to be grateful and to thank God!

I am grateful that I didn’t fall into the toilet when I first got up. I am thankful that we had flashlights with working batteries in them. I am so happy that I was able to write down my dream before forgetting…got the cat out, in time…had water stored for such a time as this. My family got out the door unscathed and I am now able to sit and write.

What I’m even more thankful for is the time with God – even as I was busy going about a hectic morning. The awareness that He was near. Knowing that He was communicating with me in the little things. Being thankful when I could have been grumpy. Oh, how a thankful heart can immediately change our perspective!!

peace-in-chaos

I truly believe that God would have met me in my usual quiet time. He always does. But for some reason, this morning’s experience seemed, somehow…richer. And there were additional blessings, this morning. Things that I would not have gotten to notice if it wasn’t for the minor struggles.

The power did come on for about six minutes. I had already begun to prepare the coffee maker for when the power returned. Because I had done this, I was able to brew one cup. That cup of coffee meant more to me than any other cup has in a very long time. I had running water just long enough to fill up my daughter’s water bottle, so I wouldn’t have to worry about her forgetting to fill it up at school. Not a big deal, really…but it was a small thing that put my heart at ease. And I am thankful for a warm car and the ability to charge my phone…but more so, I am grateful for the precious moments, while warming up and charging, that God met me where I was and fulfilled a longing that I didn’t even know that I had.

True Peace – by pursuing Him – with a thankful heart.

I did get to read, a little, from Transcending Mysteries (which also had me in 1 Samuel 1:19-2:2). There was one line that really stuck out, this morning: “Over time, the object of my longing has changed…God has opened my eyes to the reality that true peace can only be found in pursuing Him.” (Owens, p.36)

The power is still out and my head is still pounding. But my heart is so very full…and I am at peace.

So, how was your morning?

Listen: Where You Are – Jeremy Riddle, Bethel Church

Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens, Transcending Mysteries, (Nashville, TN:Thomas Nelson, 2015).

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